Glossary of terms

AGATHON (ἀγαθόν) The Good. The only Good is our own virtuous choices, both beneficial and wise. Stoics devided things between Bad, Good or Indifferent.

ANDREIA (ἀνδρεία)  Courage, the third Cardinal Virtue. The knowledge of what things are to be confronted. Two attributes are bravery (the management of fear) and boldness (vision and ambition). Its perfection is in facing and mastering what we fear.
ARETÉ (ἀρετή)
Virtue or Excellence. Virtues are character traits of those who are more prone to make virtuous choices. Virtuous choices are those appropriate choices in accordance with Nature. In other words, virtue consists of making appropriate selections among Indiferents, selecting the preferred and avoiding the dispreferred.
Wish. This is one of the three hai eupatheiai, or ‘good feelings’. Wish is the opposite of Appetite (epithumia,
There are four cardinal virtues: Wisdom, Justice, Courage abd Temperance. All virtues are attributes of the first cardinal virtue of Wisdom. These virtues are the only good and their achievement is the good or excellence of the wise man, the philosopher. Moral excellence is the perfection of virtue (arete), which the wise man cultivates as an art, the art of living. Because the perfection of virtue is the work of the wise, only the wise truly
know virtue. And, because virtue is the only good, it alone is sufficient for happiness (eudaimonia). All virtues are manifestations of knowledge, and the lack of knowledge, or ignorance is the cause of the lack of virtue,
which is vice, or evil. See also the individual entries for each.
Joy. This is one of the three hai eupatheiai, or ‘good feelings’. Joy is the opposite of Pleasure (hedone, laetitia).
See also hai eupatheiai.
Chrysippus [cry-sip-us] (this is the pronunciation generally used in English academic circles)
Stoic philosopher
common notions
Collections of like presentations, grouped in our minds by similarities.

Crasis (κρᾶσις) [KRA-sees]
The total blending that occurs between wine and water, and between the active and passive principles in matter.
criterion of truth
The means by which the command center (hegemonikon) discerns which presentations (phantasia) are real or
imaginary, and which are true or false. It does this by comparing immediate presentations with common
daemon (δαίμων) [DIE-moan]
Literally, the god or part of god within each human being. It may have denoted the rational self. Socrates had a
daemon that he referred to many times. In classical times, the term was used to refer to a lesser deity.
The fourth Cardinal Virtue. Although the fourth virtue is often referred to as ‘temperance’ the original word was
Sophrosyne, which has no perfect translation, and is a much more inclusive word than temperance. Sophrosyne
is the knowledge of self-control and how to be steadfast, including the regulation of appetites, emotions, and
desires. It is also a dignified propriety or noble bearing in appearance, speech, and manners.
The actual thing to which a word refers.
The quality of an Indifferent such that it is inconsistent with Nature. See also, Indifferent.
divine fire
See Logos.
Doctrine of Preconception
See “prolepsis”
ekpyrosis (ἐκπύρωσις) [ek-PURR-o-sees]
The purifying fire of the Logos which periodically destroys the cosmos in a conflagration before it is reborn.
Epictetus [Eh-peek-TEE-tus] (this is the pronunciation generally used in English academic circles)
Stoic philosopher
epithumia (ἐπιθυμία) [eh-pee-thu-MEE-ah]
Appetite or lust/swelling. One of the four general passions. See pathos.
The creative force. Represented by the God of Love, Eros is that force which unifies opposites in order to create
and recreate. We rationally perceive this force as love.
eudaimonia (εὐδαιμονία) [ew-die-mo-NEE-ah]
Happiness. This refers to what we would translate today as happiness independent of circumstance.
eulabeia (εὐλάβεια) [ew-LAH-bey-ah]
Caution. This is one of the three hai eupatheiai, or ‘good feelings’. Caution is the opposite of Fear (phobos). See
also hai eupatheiai.
Evil (vice)
See kakon.
See Indifferent.
See agathon.
good feelings, good passions
See hai eupatheiai.
hai eupatheiai (αἱ εὐπαθείαι) [high ew-pa-THAY-eye]
The ‘good passions’ or ‘good feelings’. The opposite of Passion (pathos), these are the serene and reasonable
actions of the soul in the good states. These are feelings that arise from true judgments about the Good
(agathon) and the Bad (kakon). They include: Joy (chara), Wish (boulesis), and Caution (eulabeia).
hedone (ἡδονή) [hay-doh-NAY]
Pleasure or elation/delight. One of the four general passions. See pathos.
hegemonikon (ἡγεμονικόν) [hay-geh-mon-ee-KON]
The command center of a human soul. That part which is capable of making choices. It has four essential
abilities: presentation, impulse, assent, and reason (Logos).
hexis (ἕξις) [HEX-ees]
Cohesive state. Bodies are held together by a two-way motion. Pneuma motion begins at the center of the
object, simultaneously moving to the surface and back again producing an internal tension, tonos, that creates
the cohesive state.
Hypomnemata (ὑπομνήματα) [hyp-om-NAY-mah-tah]
Personal notes as found in the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Today we would call this ‘journaling’.
The instinctive movement of the soul toward that which appears to be beneficial, and away from that which
appears to be harmful. All living animals are spurred to action by impulse.
Those things which are not bodies. While corporeal bodies exist, incorporeal bodies subsist. Only a body, that
which exists, can act and be acted upon. The incorporeal includes: lekta (the meaning of words), void (that
infinite realm outside the cosmos and within which the cosmos exists), place (location), and time (only the
present exists and is rationally divided into past and future to understand movement of the corporeal).
Things which are not within our control – externals, in the sense of being external to our will. Since the only
Good (agathon) is our virtuous choice, and the only Bad (kakon) is our vicious choice, all other things are
therefore in the category of things which are Indifferent. This refers, not to our attitude of indifference, but
rather an objective quality of a thing as being indifferent to the Good or the Bad. Stoics do not attach
themselves, their feelings, sense of value, or contentment to Indifferents. Among Indifferents, there are
Preferred Indifferents (consistent with Nature), Dispreferred Indifferents (inconsistent with Nature), and True
The second Cardinal Virtue. Justice is the knowledge of how things are to be distributed, taking into account the
fairness of each individual’s interest when measured against every other interest in the prevention of harm and
in the distribution of benefit.
kakon (κακόν) [kah-KON]
The Bad. The only Bad is our own vicious (unvirtuous) choices, both harmful and unwise. The opposite of the
Bad, is the Good (agathon). Things which are not Bad or Good are Indifferent.
katalepsis (κατάληψις) [ka-TAH-layp-sees]
The process whereby the hegemonikon (command center) grasps or apprehends the presentation (phantasia),
becoming cognizant of it. This is less than knowledge but comes after assent.
True understanding, possessed by none but the wise.
laetitia (Latin word) [lie-tee-tee-a]
Pleasure or elation/delight. One of the four general passions. See pathos.
lekta (λεκτά) [lek-TAH]
The incorporeal quality described as the meaning of words.
Appetite or lust/swelling. One of the four general passions. See pathos.
An artistic fire, the active principle, creates as it expands pervading inert matter, the passive principle, and
defining existence as an evolving, dynamic process. Logos is the Seminal Reason of creation, the past, present,
and future of the cosmos existing in potential at the beginning. Just as the apple seed contains the intelligence
to grow into a tree, so does the universe evolve from the seed of its intelligence at birth. This same quality in
humans is what gives them the power of reason that animals lack.
lupe (λύπη) [lu-PAY]
Distress or contraction. One of the four general passions. Unlike the other passions, Distress has no opposite.
See pathos.
Marcus Aurelius . . . . (MARK-us A-REEL-ee-us) (this is the pronunciation generally used in English academic
Roman emperor, Stoic philopher
mneme (μνήμη) [MNAY-may]
memory work.
Thought. Rational presentation capable of human beings. Thoughts are corporeal physical states of the
pneuma-soul which have the structure of language. Thought is related to three parts: (1) the Sign, (2) the
Significate, and (3) the Denotation.
oikeiosis (οἰκείωσις) [oy-KAY-o-sees]
The Doctrine of Appropriation. This is the migration of our natural affinity for self to an affinity for others,
extending outward to larger and larger circles: self, family, community, nation, world, etc.
Passion. The inappropriate feelings or enrapturing emotions. A form of mental illness or psychic disturbance,
these emotions are a case of false judgments about the Good (agathon) and the Bad (kakon). The four general
passions are distress (or contraction, lupe, aegritudo), fear (or shrinking, phobos), appetite (or lust/swelling,
epithumia, libido), and pleasure (or elation/delight, hedone, laetitia). Their opposite are the Good Feelings or
hai eupatheiai.
Presentations. The initial sensory impressions we experience.
phantastikon (φανταστικόν) [fan-tas-tee-KON]
An imaginary presentation; dreams, fantasies, hallucinations. These are produced from the internal
manipulation of the mental content of previously stored presentations (phantasia).
phobos (φόβος) [FOH-boss]
Fear or shrinking. One of the four general passions. See pathos.
phusis (φύσις) [FU-sees]
That quality that, when mixed with a body that is cohesive (hexis), makes the body organic. Bodies with only
hexis and phusis grow and reproduce, but have no cognitive ability.
pneuma (πνεῦμα) [PNEW-mah]
Air, the Divine Breath that enters, defines, and rules inert matter produces an internal tension (tonos) by
moving from the center of an object to its surface, then returning to its center again. Pneuma is the World Soul
that pervades and directs the cosmos just as it pervades and directs a material body with a human soul
(pneuma psychikon) extending a spark of divine reason, the Logos, to human kind.
pneuma psychikon (πνεῦμα ψυχικόν) [PNEW-mah psu-khee-KON]
The human soul.
The quality of an Indifferent such that it is consistent with Nature. See also, Indifferent.
prokoptôn (προκόπτων) [pro-KOP-tone]
Making progress. Even though one has not obtained the wisdom of a sage when appropriate actions are
increasingly chosen fewer and fewer mistakes will be made and one will be prokoptôn, making progress.
prolepsis (πρόληψις) [PRO-layp-sees]
The Doctrine of Preconception. The human infant, althought a ‘blank slate’ at birth, has a number of
preconceptions or innate dispositions toward forming certain kinds of concepts. The greatest of these are
impulses encouraging the formation of a concept of God and the Good.
prosoche (προσοχή) [pro-soh-KHAY)
The attentiveness or mindfulness that Stoics should apply to every impression and situation they face as they
determine the proper judgement they need to make in order to maintain their eudaimonia.
psuche (ψυχή) [psy-KHAY)
Soul. Animals with impulse and perception have psuche, while things that merely reproduce and grow without
cognitive ability do not.
The Pneuma totally blended with the substratum creating a body.
The spoken word, whether to one’s self or out loud.
sophrosyne (σωφροσύνη) [so-froh-SU-nay]
See decorum.
Each body made cohesive and defined by its unique mixture of the Pneuma: Cohesive state – hexis, Organic
nature – hexis & phusis, Non-rational animals – hexis, phusis, & psuche (soul), and Rational animals (human) –
hexis, phusis, psuche, & Logos (reason).
Shapeless matter before it is permeated by the Pneuma.
Valid forms of deductive reasoning. Chrysippus developed five forms of syllogism. Syllogisms reemerged in the
mid 20th Century once more formally understood and became the leading school in the development of formal
tonos (τόνος) [TOH-nos]
An internal tension in a body, simultaneously moving to the surface and back again, that creates the cohesive
state – hexis.
to paschon (τὸ πἀσχον) [toh PASS-khon]
The Passive Principle which is entered into and blended with the active principle as wine is blended into water.
to poioun (τὸ ποιοῦν) [toh poi-NOON]
The Active Principle which enters and blends with the passive principle as wine is blended into water.
The quality of an Indifferent such that it is consistent with Nature. See also, Indifferent.
See arete.
The first Cardinal Virtue. Wisdom is the knowledge of what is good or bad or neither. Knowing what is prudent,
what is in accord with Nature, what is true and what is false.